The Political Science Department was formally established in 1955, within what was then the Department of Economics and Social Science, as part of a broad effort to develop research and training at MIT in the social sciences. The nucleus of a Political Science faculty had already been formed within the Center for International Studies, a pioneering, interdisciplinary research center working on American foreign policy and security issues, economic and political development in the Third World, Communist societies, and international communication. By 1958, a Ph.D. in political science had been authorized. Political Science became an independent department in 1965, offering an undergraduate major and a Master's degree, as well as the Ph.D.

For more information, go to http://web.mit.edu/polisci/ .

Recent Submissions

  • 17.812J / 14.296J Collective Choice I, Fall 2008 

    Snyder, James (2008-12)
    This is an applied theory course covering topics in the political economy of democratic countries. This course examines political institutions from a rational choice perspective. The now burgeoning rational choice literature ...
  • 17.556 Political Economy of Development, Spring 2003 

    Steinfeld, Edward (2003-06)
    This course examines theoretical and empirical approaches to understanding the process of late development. Topics include the role of the state in alleviating or exacerbating poverty, the politics of industrial policy and ...
  • 17.554 Political Economy of Latin America, Fall 2002 

    Lawson, Chappell (2002-12)
    This class explores the politics of economic reform in Latin America. Topics addressed include: Dependency, Development, and Bureaucratic-Authoritarianism; The Political Consequences of Market-Oriented Reform in Venezuela; ...

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